LOS Angeles residents should wear masks amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti, who says “it’s the new look.”
Garcetti tweeted yesterday that “early data suggests many who are infected are not symptomatic, which is why we are recommending you use cloth face coverings plus physical distancing for essential activities.”
“Do not use surgical and N95 masks, which are reserved for first responders and medical workers.”
Garcetti added: “To be clear, you should still stay at home. This isn’t an excuse to suddenly all go out.”
"This will be the look," he said at a press conference while wearing a black mask. "I know this looks surreal. We're going to have to get used to seeing each other like this."
As of Wednesday, the city of Los Angeles had more than 3,500 cases of the virus and at least 65 deaths.
The mayor’s announcement came as the California Department of Public Health issued an advisory on the use of facial coverings.
“Face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing or frequent hand washing, which we know are amongst the most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the agency, said in a statement.
“Wearing a cloth face covering could provide some additional benefit by acting as a reminder for other people to keep their distance, and it could help reduce the spread of infectious particles from those who could be infected but don’t have symptoms.”
Dr. Jerone Adams, the U.S. surgeon general, tweeted on Thursday morning some tips about wearing face masks.
"IF you choose to wear a face covering: 1. Wash your hands well before and after, & don’t touch your face while wearing, 2. Please save the N95 masks for healthcare/ frontline workers, 3. Remember it is not a replacement for social distancing. Your best bet is still to stay at home."
For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization have advised against people wearing masks to protect themselves during the outbreak.
The CDC has said people infected — or those showing symptoms such as fever and shortness of breath — should wear masks to avoid spreading it to others.
The World Health Organization even said as recently as this Monday people don’t need to wear masks.
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said: "There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit.”
“In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly.”
But, Ryan noted, there is a “massive” global mask shortage as everyone tries to wear one.
"Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific."
The N95 medical masks, which Garcetti told residents not to use, are used in industrial settings as well as hospitals.
They filter out 95 percent of all airborne particles, including ones too tiny to be blocked by regular masks.
This week, the first N95 masks to reach the U.S. since February are arriving by plane and ship this week, with trucks standing ready to speed them to coronavirus hot spots around the country.
Despite the masks being delivered, it’s not enough to meet demand.
Medics on the front lines are being forced to reuse N95 masks for days, while seeing an unknown number of different patients.
The CDC says if N95 masks are in short supply, for medics to wear surgical masks or bandanas.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said on Tuesday the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force is starting to seriously consider urging Americans to wear masks to stop the spread of the virus.
“The idea of getting a much more broad, community-wide use of masks outside of the health care setting is under very active discussion at the task force,” Fauci said.
“The CDC group is looking at that very carefully.”
As of Thursday morning, the U.S. reported more than 216,00 people have the coronavirus and more than 5,000 people have died from it.
Source: Read Full Article